The word casino brings to mind images of glitzy Las Vegas hotels, a world of pulsating lights and clinking slot machines. But if you ask the people who actually work in casinos, they’ll tell you that’s only part of the story. There’s a darker side to gambling, one that involves the exploitation of the weak and the deception of the greedy.
A casino is a building where a variety of games of chance can be played and gambling is the primary activity. Though some casinos add a host of luxuries to attract gamblers, they are fundamentally designed to make the house money. The basic odds are that you will lose – but there is a certain art to beating the casino, especially if you play smartly. Unfortunately most players don’t do that. They don’t understand the game, they don’t know how to manage their bankroll and they make stupid bets.
To counter this, casino employees are trained to spot cheating and other suspicious activities. They also rely on surveillance cameras to monitor the casino floor, keeping an eye on every table and window in case something goes wrong. During the era depicted in Scorsese’s Casino, high-rollers were given special rooms and perks like free hotel suites, dinners and show tickets, but now casinos are more selective about who they let in. Nevertheless, they still make most of their money from the high-stakes gamblers who can risk tens of thousands of dollars in a few hours.